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British Gas price rises: How the industry can help mitigate energy price rises

Earlier this month, a storm of media interest resulted from the latest energy price increase, announced by Centrica.

“British Gas has raised electricity prices by 12.5%, in a move consumer experts warned could kick off a new round of price rises from rival suppliers this winter,” wrote The Guardian.

The Government is determined to tackle energy costs as part of its overhaul of UK energy as a whole; promising the lowest energy costs in Europe is a key Conservative pledge.

Rising costs then are not only a consumer worry, but an issue in Downing Street too.

Energy price flux; the lowdown

“The company [British Gas], owned by Centrica, left its gas prices unchanged, which means the average annual dual fuel bill will rise by 7.3%, or £76, to £1,120,” noted The Guardian’s analysis on British Gas.

“The increase, which takes effect on 15 September, will affect 3.1 million customers. The company said it would give a £76 credit to more than 200,000 vulnerable customers to protect them from the increase.”

Shadow Energy Minister Alan Whitehead called it a “whopping rise” and said the Government should take further action.

Iain Conn, Centrica’s Chief Executive, defended the move, saying the electricity price rise was the first since November 2013 and reflected a 16% rise in the cost of energy and delivery to customers’ homes since 2014.

Actions to manage energy costs

Reading between the lines of wholesale costs, Centrica profit and realistic energy charging is hard, especially for the layman. The cost of wholesale electricity, which impacts on prices, has fluctuated by about £20 per MWh over the past four years.

“UK energy prices are nigh-on impossible to understand for those outside the sector,” comments Kevin Cox, Managing Director, Energys.

“Thankfully, energy efficiency is simpler. By using more efficient technologies, we can reduce energy usage in the UK as a whole and that, by definition, reduces how much we pay.

“Efficiency will save money no matter what the actual bottom line price on energy is. It’s a game changer and it couldn’t be easier to understand either.”

A raft of solutions

Energys offers a number of efficiency solutions covering LED lighting, boiler controls and more, all ready for installation across UK schools, libraries and hospitals.

“By getting efficient technologies into such places, we can tackle the impact of rising costs in a sustainable and long term way, building a lower carbon, less expensive future,” Cox concludes.

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